Once upon a time people became famous for their achievements. In the twentieth century with the rise of the media, people became famous faster, notoriety became widespread quicker and people became famous for who they were not their achievements.
This is a personal essay by Clive James examining the nature of fame but the series came out in 1993, during the final year of his exclusive contract with the BBC and there was still some years left for the 20th century. He missed out on the rise of the media savvy spin doctors and politicians such as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair and the death of Princess Diana linked to a media frenzy of the paparazzi.
This is Clive James mixing his serious brain with a caustic and satirical populist eye as he examines the rise of fame, the famous and the dark side which emerged with the kidnap of baby Lindbergh and continued with the Manson killings
A brilliant and informative series, I bought the book that was linked with the series which features amongst its pages a poster of the movie 'Objective Burma' that has Errol Flynn talking to a very large mobile phone and battery pack from Motorola radio. I guess the advent of smaller mobile phones with photo and video features give a different spin to fame in the 21st century.
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